Man Voiter Putting Ballot Into Voting box. Democracy Freedom Concept
Man Voiter Putting Ballot Into Voting box. Democracy Freedom Concept

More names thrown into Groom by-election mix

A QUEENSLAND senator is considering seeking preselection for Groom at the upcoming by-election, a former state LNP MP says.

Writing an opinion piece for the Brisbane Times, former Newman Government Transport Minister Scott Emerson said Senator James McGrath, who grew up in Toowoomba and has a family farm in Warwick, was considering jumping to the lower house.

"Another Queensland senator, former cabinet minister Matt Canavan, has also been urged to run for Groom," Mr Emerson wrote.

As Mr Emerson writes, the seat of Groom has long been a Liberal Party seat.

Liberal National Party members elected to federal parliament get to choose whether they sit in the Liberal or National Party rooms.

Mr Canavan sits with the National Party so, as Mr Emerson writes "would also struggle to convince the Groom branch and LNP executive to reassign the seat to the Nationals".

Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell told audiences on the news channel it was unlikely James McGrath would run for the seat, despite Mr Emerson's comments.

"Apparently Nationals Senator Matt Canavan - talked about as a future Nationals leader - has been sounded out but has had to acknowledge it is a Liberal seat so he cannot run," Mr Clennell said in a piece of commentary.

"It's a keenly sort after seat with such a safe margin."

Local party members and commentators have also suggested a number of other potential candidates, including a business manager and sitting councillors, both local and from outside of the region.

The by-election was triggered after former MP John McVeigh announced his resignation on Friday.

Mr McVeigh said he was resigning to spend more time with his wife who was suffering from a serious illness.

The preselection contest led to a call from Mayor Paul Antonio for the LNP to select a local as the candidate.

"There are (local) young people, plenty of men and women, who, if given the chance, could be outstanding candidates," he said.

A date for the by-election, and whether the Labor Party will run a candidate, are yet to be determined.


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